How do Opinions on Climate Change Affect Presidential Elections?

The report Climate change opinion and recent presidential elections identifies a strong connection between voters’ opinions on climate change and who they voted for in the 2020 election.

Voters who believe climate change is an important issue are significantly more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate, and the trend in the importance of climate change among voters gives the Democratic candidate an electoral advantage. The research team used recent polling studies and data from the nonpartisan Voter Study Group to analyze how issue opinions and demographics affected the 2016 and 2020 elections.

The report was published by the Center for Social and Environmental Futures. It was authored by Matthew G. Burgess, Christian Suarez, and Ashley Dancer (all from the University of Colorado Boulder), Lachlan J. Watkins from Vanderbilt Law School, and Renae E. Marshall from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara.

Additional Media Coverage

Americans’ Climate Fears Gave Democrats the White House in 2020—Study” (Newsweek)

Can climate change impact election outcomes? This researcher says yes – in big ways” (KGNU)

US voters’ climate change opinions swing elections, analysis finds” (